“It’s hard to go from a second round draft pick and a free agent to sophomores.” Gary Patterson said on Wednesday morning during his media availability, in reference to the task of replacing two important cogs to TCU’s defensive backfield this season.
The Horned Frogs are working on replacing 2021 second round draft pick Trevon Moehrig and undrafted free agent Ar’Darius Washington, both of whom have had impressive preseasons with the Raiders and Ravens, respectively.
Moehrig is already taking first-team reps in practice for the Raiders, and Washington made his presence known in Baltimore’s most recent preseason game.
I’m still baffled at the fact that AD went undrafted.
All that to say, replacing all-conference players is never an easy task, but Patterson is impressed with the guys stepping into Moehrig and Washington’s shoes.
Memphis transfer T.J. Carter is in a healthy competition with Nook Bradford for the weak safety spot, while Bud Clark and Deshawn McCuin are locked in a battle at free safety. LaKendrick Van Zandt is the guy at strong safety, although Patterson noted that Josh Foster has had a “great fall camp.”
But the young safeties received Patterson’s highest praise on Wednesday.
“The young safeties are fantastic.” Patterson said, “Our safety group has really got a chance. It’s hard to go from a second round draft pick and a free agent to sophomores. We’ve been working at it. We only focus in on making them better and getting them where we need to get to.”
Specifically, the three newcomers - Abraham Camara, Da’Veawn Armstead, and D’Arco Perkins-McAllister - have been as advertised.
“We didn’t miss on any of them,” Patterson said of the three young safeties, “All three are really athletic as young safeties, so every day we keep working at it.”
Camara was rated as the No. 1 JUCO safety out of Coffeyville CC last season, while Armstead was the No. 65 safety coming out of high school for the 2021 class.
Perkins-McAllister just committed to TCU over Tennessee, Michigan, and a few other schools on July 10th as a class of 2022 recruit, but graduated and reclassified to get on campus this fall. He signed his letter and enrolled two days after his commitment, on July 12th.
You can watch the full Gary Patterson availability right here: